Bernstein: Russia probe clearly not ‘fake news’

Veteran reporter Carl Bernstein on Friday hit back at President Trump's long-running claim that media reports on the investigation into Russia's election meddling are so-called "fake news," declaring that such accusations should be put away "once and for all."

"None of this is fake news," Bernstein, who helped break open the Watergate scandal in the 1970s, said on CNN. "We can put away the 'fake news' charge once and for all after today."

Bernstein's comments came after former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in the month before Trump took office.

That guilty plea was followed by an acknowledgement by Flynn that he was cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russia's role in the 2016 election and possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow.

Court documents released on Friday also claimed that Flynn's contacts with Kislyak were directed by officials on the Trump transition team. 

Trump has long railed against news reports on Mueller's investigation and Russian meddling in the 2016 election, calling it "fake news" propagated by Democrats as an excuse for Hillary Clinton's electoral loss.

But journalists, including CNN's Jake Tapper and Fox News's Shepard Smith, pointed to Flynn's guilty plea on Friday as evidence that such reporting was, in fact, accurate